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Economic Burden of Osteoporotic Patients with Fracture: Effect of Treatment With or Without Calcium/Vitamin D Supplements

Authors Degli Esposti L, Saragoni S, Perrone V, Sella S, Andretta M, Rossini M, Giannini S

Received 16 October 2019

Accepted for publication 24 January 2020

Published 20 February 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 21—30


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chandrika Piyathilake

Luca Degli Esposti,1 Stefania Saragoni,1 Valentina Perrone,1 Stefania Sella,2 Margherita Andretta,3 Maurizio Rossini,4 Sandro Giannini2

1CliCon S.r.l. Health, Economics & Outcomes Research, Ravenna, Italy; 2Clinica Medica 1, Department of Medicine, University of Padova and Regional Center for Osteoporosis, Padova, Italy; 3UOC HTA, Azienda Zero, Padova, Italy; 4Rheumatology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata di Verona and Regional Center for Osteoporosis, Verona, Italy

Correspondence: Luca Degli Esposti
CliCon S.r.l. Health, Economics & Outcomes Research, Via Salara, 36, Ravenna 48121, Italy
Tel +39 0544 38393
Fax +39 0544 212699

Background: Fractures represent the most important complication of osteoporosis, in terms of loss of independency, chronic pain, increased risk of mortality, but also high healthcare costs.
Objective: To assess healthcare costs in an Italian cohort of osteoporotic patients with a fracture with and without specific osteoporosis treatment and supplementation with calcium/vitamin D.
Methods: This retrospective observational study used data from administrative databases of five Local Health Units in Italy. Patients ≥ 50 years of age and hospitalized for vertebral or hip fracture occurring from 01/01/2011 to 31/12/2015 were included. Patients were then classified as “untreated” and “treated” if they had been treated or not with drugs for fracture prevention after the index fracture. We also identified subjects that were only treated with drugs for fracture prevention, “osteoporosis drug only” group, compared to the “osteoporosis drug plus calcium/vitamin D” group, in which calcium and/or vitamin D were also in combination. Healthcare cost analysis included drug expenditure, hospitalization costs (excluding costs related to the hospitalization for the index fracture) and outpatient service costs.
Results: Three thousand four hundred and seventy-five patients were included in the present study, most of whom (58.5%) had received specific osteoporosis treatment after index fracture. Among treated patients, the vast majority (83.6%) received supplementation with calcium/vitamin D. Mean annual healthcare cost per patient was € 9,289.85 in the untreated group and € 4,428.26 for treated subjects (p < 0.001); mean annual healthcare cost for the osteoporosis drug-only group was higher compared to the osteoporosis drug plus calcium/vitamin D group (€ 5,976.88 vs € 4,124.74, respectively, p < 0.001). Hospitalization costs accounted for the majority of total costs in all groups of patients.
Conclusion: Healthcare costs in patients with osteoporotic fractures were significantly lower in those receiving osteoporosis treatment compared to untreated patients with even lower costs observed in patients that were also receiving calcium/vitamin D supplements.

Keywords: healthcare costs, calcium/vitamin D supplementation, osteoporosis, fracture, hospitalization

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